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What causes vaginitis?

Infectious causes of vaginitis include bacteria, yeast, and Trichomonas.

  • Bacterial vaginosis is the most common bacterial infection that causes vaginitis. This condition results from an imbalance of overgrowth in the bacteria normally present in the vagina. It is not clear if sexual activity plays a role in the development of bacterial vaginosis, and some experts believe it can occur in women who have not had sexual contact. The STDs gonorrhea and Chlamydia are other bacterial causes of vaginitis.
  • Yeast infections, such as Candida infection, are a common cause of vaginitis. Yeast infections are not considered to be STDs.
  • Trichomonas ("Trich") is a parasitic infection that is transmitted through sexual contact.
  • Non-infectious causes of vaginitis include physical or chemical irritation, such as:
    • Douches, soaps, or fragrances
    • Spermicides
    • Reduced estrogen levels around the time of menopause

Vaginitis in young girls has also been described and is thought to arise from poor hygiene practices that allow the spread of fecal bacteria from the anal area into the vagina.

Return to Vaginitis

See what others are saying

Comment from: isab, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 08

I continue to have a problem with vaginitis the day after having intercourse. I get an itch at the entrance of the vagina. I have treated this many times I and my partner have been tested on several occasions and the doctor finds nothing wrong with either of us. However it continues to happen and I can't seem to solve the problem.

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Comment from: Gem, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 09

Topiramate (Topamax), a preventive medicine for migraines caused my vaginitis.

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Comment from: anonymous, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 26

I have had vaginitis more than once actually. It was due to douching and the usage of feminine deodorant sprays. Once I developed a urinary tract infection simultaneously with vaginitis and had to have that treated first.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

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